Saturday, September 20, 2014

Gonna try a SUP race in Bonita Springs

I'm going to test my mettle next Saturday at a local paddleboard race. The race is part of a series hosted by "Calusa Ghost Tours," a local kayak/sup outfitter. The proceeds from the race fee will fund the Bonita Springs Historical Society, which is doing some things that I really like, such as helping raise money to preserve the old-timey Everglades Wonder Gardens zoo/park/art-gallery in my neighborhood.

The race is a 4.5 mile round trip down and back up a section of the black-water Imperial River. It's the same area I usually paddle when the wind and surf are down and I just need to get on the water.

I'll use the Exocet WindSUP 11'8" with a small weed-fin. Even though the WindSUP is heavy, it has good glide and I think it will paddle faster on flat water than my Angulo 10'4". I tried the course last night and finished in 1:08 paddling pretty close to as hard as I could. I would need to be finishing about 20 minutes faster to win the race, based on the previous winners times, but I think I'll at least be able to stay somewhere in the pack. I'm going to make it a personal goal (maybe a long term goal) to bring my time down to 1:00 even. To help me towards that end I'll need to practice my padding technique and improve my cardiovascular fitness and core strength. I'm also trying a technological fix, by shortening my paddle by about 20 cm. (Since I got the paddle it has definitely been too long, but I never bothered to adjust it because I wasn't trying to maximize by paddling speed or anything.) We'll see how it all works out.


rod.r said...

Hi James.
How did the race go?

James Douglass said...

The race went well. My time was 1:00:16, so I almost made my goal of finishing in under an hour. The next week I finished in 0:57:00, but that was pushing super hard and I don't think I'm going to get much better than that with the WindSUP. My times are faster than the others on non-race boards, but around the slowest of the race board times. The summer race series is over but I'll be back at it when they start the fall race series.